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A reflection on the semester

We have had quite a semester, both in good and bad ways. 

First, on the good. As the editorial board of The Hoot, we are very happy to be writing this in our cozy room. We are grateful that we are able to do the things we love in person. It warms our hearts to see all the clubs coming back to life after a year and a half hiatus. Athletics are back: we can finally watch Brandeis get its ass beat live. We can hear parents, friends and teammates cheer each other on. We are able to enjoy live musical performances, be it in Slosberg, in the Shapiro Science Center or Mandel. 

Our editors are finally able to get back to the things they love, live. Maddie is finally able to perform the Nutcracker live. Thomas is able to spend hours playing tennis and rugby. Roshni is able to enjoy live music around campus. John and Sasha are able to attend games. Victoria is able to travel with her team. Cooper is able to complain about mint chocolate chip ice cream in person. Emma is able to attend (and be confused by) live theatre at Brandeis. Mia is able to go to concerts (and drag shows). We are all grateful to be able to do these things again. 

We are also thankful to everyone in the Brandeis community for doing their part and following COVID-19 policies, keeping us all safe. This semester, with a 97 percent vaccination rate, we have not had a major COVID-19 outbreak. Also, we want to thank the university for hosting the various vaccination clinics throughout the semester first with the flu shot clinic and then with the COVID-19 booster shot clinic. By bringing vaccinations to campus, it makes getting vaccinated more accessible and easier for students who are already stressed about getting their school work done. 

However, as we came back to campus, so did the issues. Firstly, it is hard to ignore mold and mice in your dorm, lead-poisoned and rusty water or a falling roof in Usdan. Brandeis needs to make an effort to make the campus safe for its students. 

Looking forward, we hope Brandeis reconsiders its attendance policies. Despite our success with the coronavirus, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic. The goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy. But how can that be done if professors do not accommodate students who do not have COVID-19? If classes are not recorded or available on Zoom, students are forced to choose between lying on the Daily Health Assessment or missing out on their education. Since the university is hoping to go almost fully in person next semester, we hope the tools we gained during our online semesters get carried through.

For the Union, we hope for more transparency and a better functioning Allocations Board. For the University, we hope to see employees being treated well. Students should not have to create endless petitions to persuade you to do the right thing. For the students, please continue doing your part; we all want to continue to do the things we love, but in order to do so, we have to remain diligent. 

Overall, this was a solid semester, but there is still a lot of work to be done. 

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